1.Smyrna, modern Izmir, was an ancient city possibly dating back 3000 years, and located 56kms north of Ephesus. What do we know about the birth of the church in Smyrna? Where does the city and church in Smyrna feature in the book of Acts? How might the church possibly have been planted (Acts 19:10)? All we know about the city and church are written in Rev. 2:8-11.
2.What do you think the Lord Jesus meant by calling Himself “the First and the Last?” What do you think is implied in this title (cf. 1:17)?
3.What problems were the church at Smyrna facing? How could they be both poor and rich at the same time? What is noticeably missing in the Lord’s letter to the church at Smyrna? What does the fact that there is no criticism from the Lord tell us about the church?
4.Has it been harder for you to live out your faith when you have been poor, or when you have had surplus money? Why do you think that is? In what ways do you feel spiritually rich (cf. Eph. 1:18)?
5.What does this passage teach us about suffering? How does this encourage us in the suffering or persecution that we may have to face?
6.What is promised to the “overcomers” (2:11)? How should we be encouraged by this?